Keeping your child physically active is a great way to burn off energy, train their muscles and increase self esteem. However, injury from sports is commonplace and can result in lasting consequences for years to come.
All sports carry a risk of injury, but some are much safer than others. Below is a list of the safest sports for children.
According to a 2007 report by The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury, swimming is amongst the safest sports when supervised by a lifeguard. The water provides resistance which helps build muscle without causing injury.
With the proper technique and regular breaks, all shoulder associated injuries can be easily avoided. When enrolling your child, don’t be afraid to ask questions and voice any concerns you may have. Your child’s instructor should be able answer all your questions and provide a lesson plan.
Despite popular belief, golf is a great sport for all ages and is one of the safest sports for children. It teaches aim, patience, strategy and a strong swing! The highest risk of injury comes from the repetitive twisting motion and stray golf balls. Special muscle training techniques can be taught to strengthen the back and arms to further avoid any chance of injury.
Golf clubs also offer one on one sessions with an instructor which is a great idea for kids starting the sport. The risk of stray golf balls and accidental contact with a golf club can be completely avoided if safety procedures are followed.
Tennis is a high stress, cardio intensive sport which may look dangerous on the surface. However, according to The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury, less than 140,000 tennis related injuries have been reported in 25 years. This is extremely low when compared with 500,000 track and field injuries and 400,000 injuries from high school basketball.
As with any sport, using the proper techniques, regular muscle conditioning and rest periods go a long way to help prevent injury. Starting slow with a qualified instructor is highly recommended. If you notice your child complain of any soreness or pain, consult with your trainer immediately and ensure the next training session is customised to avoid further stress on those areas.
Although most sports carry some form of risk, not allowing your child to keep physically fit comes with risks of it’s own. These include obesity, diabetes, heart problems and joint pains, especially later in life. If your child has pre-existing health conditions it’s always best to consult a physician prior to starting any sport.
For optimal injury prevention, enrol your child in one of the sports listed above and monitor their progress while keeping a close eye on their well-being.
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